Audience Demand Analysis of the 75th Golden Globe Awards 2018

24 January, 2018

On 7th January 2018, stars from American television and film gathered for the 75th Golden Globes awards in Hollywood. We were naturally very interested in the TV side of the event, as some of our favorite shows of the year were nominated!

Now that the winners are known, we have put together our demand analysis of the nominees to showcase the effect of winning a Golden Globe has.


Which shows benefited most from winning?

As we did for the 74th Golden Globes, we can first look at which of the six shows that won an award benefited the most from the honour.

By comparing the ‘baseline’ demand for each show – that is, the average demand for each show over the two weeks prior to the ceremony – to the peak demand for each show following the ceremony we can see which show gained the most demand immediately after the awards were handed out.As published by Deadline, the biggest reported increase was recorded by HBO’s Big Little Lies, which gained over 500% more demand from the show’s pre-award numbers. On the other hand, the smallest boost was for FX’s Fargo, demand for which only rose by 56%.

It is tempting to say that this is due to the number of awards won as Big Little Lies was the clear winner of the TV awards, ending the night with four trophies. However, this is unlikely to be a significant factor as both The Handmaid’s Tale and This Is Us rose by the same amount, 200%, yet The Handmaid’s Tale won two awards and This Is Us won one.

In our last Golden Globes article, we discovered that there was a 0.21 correlation between demand before the ceremony and demand increase afterwards. Re-running the analysis for this year gives us the following graph:For this year’s awards, we have a correlation of -0.41, meaning that the more demand a show had before the ceremony, the less of a boost it saw for winning. However, just like last year we must caution against treating this result as “absolute truth”; a sample size of six does not make for a good statistical basis!

In fact, when the results for the 74th and 75th Golden Globes are combined, the correlation is -0.1. In other words, the demand of a show before winning is almost independent of the increase in demand after. This makes a lot of sense; with a small number of shows even nominated, which one gets talked about most is very dependent on external factors.

But can you use any of this to predict the 76th Golden Globes winners next year? To find out, we investigated if nominee demand is a good predictor of award success.


Which shows would have won if the awards were decided by demand?

As we all know, the Golden Globes awards are not a simple popularity contest; they are recognition of outstanding artistic achievements in the field of television decided by critical merit. However, going in to the awards, could you have predicted the winners for each category by looking at the demand for each of the shows nominated?

To find out, in each of the categories for shows, we determined the average demand for each nominee in the year between the 74th and 75th Golden Globe ceremonies. As the Golden Globes honors American television, we used demand data from the US only.

It must have been extremely difficult for the voters to pick a winner from the best drama category as all five of the nominated shows are outstanding. Game Of Thrones is the clear winner by demand, the HBO epic having nearly three times the demand of the next biggest show, Netflix’s Stranger Things. However, in another victory for the streaming service Hulu the award went to The Handmaid’s Tale, just like in the Emmys last September. In terms of demand though, The Handmaids Tale was third out of the nominees.

In another triumph for streaming services, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won the award for Best Comedy/Musical series.

However, if you had picked the winner for this category based on demand, you would have been completely wrong; prior to the award, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel had the lowest average demand of all the nominees!

The final award for televisions shows was for the best miniseries. As with all the categories, this was filled with fantastic titles, but the show with the most demand wasn’t the winner:

While FX’s Fargo had the highest average demand, the award went to HBO’s Big Little Lies, which in demand terms was the middle of the pack.

As we stated at the beginning, the Golden Globes are for artistic merit, they are not a popularity contest for TV shows. We think that these results prove that statement is true.

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